Have you been watching Project Runway? I'll be honest...I haven't been. I know, I know! But I always forget when it's on! Of course Bravo's lack of promotion for this season hasn't helped my memory. But more on that later! Lucky for Bravo my cable company inexplicably changed all of the channels today so I came across the usual Project Runway marathon and caught up on this season. I hate the woman obsessed with leather and being "rock n roll" (I'm also pretty sure that trying really hard to be "rock n roll" is the complete opposite of actually BEING "rock n roll" but whatever...) and I have a weird affection for Suede and Jarrell.
But back to the lovely Nina Garcia. Now, my regular readers and people who have been following the fashion blogs know that Nina had a less than graceful exit from Elle magazine a few months ago amidst tons of rumors and controversy. But when Project Runway debuted a few weeks ago Nina Garcia was referred to as "Editor-At-Large" of Elle Magazine.
But...wait! She's definitely not at Elle magazine! In fact, the first Nina Garcia approved issue of Marie Claire is on newsstands and it's fabulous! So what is going on?!
Well, you can take this mystery and add to it Bravo's refusal to really promote this season to get the answer to this fashion equation.
According to an August 18th article by New York Magazine Elle had been trying to find a way to get rid of Nina for a year or so after some major changes and ego clashes. But Nina brought in ad revenue because of her Project Runway celebrity and the show had turned Elle back into a best selling magazine second only to Vogue. Elle's contract with the show lasted only until the fifth season which back in March was rapidly approaching. The show has such high ratings and pull that they knew they would not be the only magazine trying to score the sponsorship and they didn't want to pony up the money. Over the past year and a half Elle has significantly cut it's budget despite having some of it's highest revenues in years. When Project Runway announced it was suddenly, and unexpectedly, moving from Bravo to Lifetime for the sixth season and beyond a lot of drama was stirred up. Bravo stopped promoting the fifth season of Project Runway and began court proceedings for breach of contract. Elle didn't want to be involved ,especially since they're premiering their own reality show, Stylista, with Nina's rival, the skeletal Anne Slowey, on the CW in September.
So they killed two birds with one stone.
They know they already have the TV presence with Stylista so they no longer needed Nina or Project Runway.
Her office was cleared out by assistants in one afternoon and Elle didn't have to shell out money for additional seasons of sponsoring what may be a declining Project Runway.
But wait! Stylista doesn't premier until September and the winner of the fifth season of PR is still guaranteed a spread in Elle magazine. So compromises were made...and suddenly Nina was an editor-at-large for Elle magazine for TV purposes.
When Marie Claire, a great but not necessarily high fashion, women's magazine courted Nina part of the conditions of her being hired was the magazine sponsorship of Project Runway starting with Season Six for at least four seasons. It meant money but I think it's a very good deal for Marie Claire. They get an amazing fashion editor to spruce up a department of their magazine that was bland and lacking plus they'll get amazing ad revenue based on her name and readership will go up based on Project Runway if Elle is any indication.
Nina's first issue for the magazine is on newsstands and the fashion editorials are divine. She brings a lot of experience, contacts, and artistry with her.
Here are some looks from my favorite editorial...